Sewing Vloggers

Monday, July 24, 2023

I like this shirt and pants!!! Retro!

 




It's been a while and it feels good to be back. I'll bring you up to date when we get to the end. Life has been full of excitement lately but I am here, happy, and sewing away! It feels good to have some sunshine around here after weeks of rain, floods and humidity that we just aren't used to.

I've made a couple of tops during this time and these trousers as well. I just so love the wide legged trouser trend. It has always been my favorite style of pants. I think it is my most flattering and certainly my most comfortable. I'll review the top first. This is the top that owns the collar written about in the last two posts, a collar I finally got right on the fourth iteration, Alleluiah! For the pants,  I have done a detailed and quite opinionated  review of this pattern before that I'll reference but will show the details and differences I applied to these on this version. 

THE BLOUSE





The goal here was a Camp Shirt. Of course, now I am seeing patterns everywhere, but a couple of months ago, NADA. Then I went looking at vintage patterns and there it was, the perfect camp shirt, masquerading as 1940s women's pajamas, sooooo very stylish. I fell in love with this pattern. It was a BIG shirt, one of my goals, and it had a camp style collar, meaning no collar stand and simple to sew. Was that ever a wrong assumption! What you see above is the fourth and final iteration of the pattern collar. I love it. 

Pattern:


This is Simplicity 9635, a current pattern. As the pattern says, it is "1940s Vintage". What the pattern doesn't tell you is that there is a lot of ease in the pattern, The finished bust measurement on a size six (30 1/2 in. bust) is 41 1/2 inches. However, this is beautifully drafted. You would assume correctly that the shoulders are extended yet they somehow don't have the look of today's droopy extended shoulders. Is it the slightly lowered armscye? All I know is that I wanted a big shirt and got a very well designed big shirt, IMO. 

Another issue I often have is the length of short sleeves. I really liked where these sleeves landed on me, a rarity with short sleeves. 


Fabric:

This is made with a Joann's classic. I didn't know how the pattern would work out so was not ready to invest my good white linen into the top just yet. I went for the tried and true Symphony Broadcloth from Joann's. It's bargain fabric but I have used it before and knew what I was getting into. It is a 65 Poly, 35 cotton blend, best of both worlds? It's highly washable and quite tough, too. I find the white stays nice and white in our mineral loaded water. Synthetics don't do as badly as all natural fibers so it will have a bit longer life.  The fabric also requires little ironing which is a two headed monster. This quality makes it difficult to ease and makes it hard to press away imperfections, like those of hand stitches. 

When I was a child I would watch my Mom at the machine cranking out heaven only knows how many little white shirts for my brothers to wear to school. I am sure they were all cotton back then but she would have loved the laundry ease of Symphony. It comes out of the wash needing almost no care. 

Now I am ready to make this shirt in some lovely linen.

The buttons are vintage as well and from the collection I inherited from my dear friend Ima. 



Construction:

I had concerns here. Would my blouse be sheer, see through?  Would my interfacing show through? How would those issues affect my construction? Did I want to change anything from the pattern? 

I so remember all the white shirts I wore with school uniforms growing up. They were pretty generic and I imagined one big giant factory churned them all out by the millions. I do remember they had one small detail that I have never forgotten. The pocket hem band ended in a tiny tuck, about a little less than a quarter of an inch wide. The sleeves had a hem band as well and that ended with the same tiny tuck. In the case of these tucks it was a matter of measuring and folding and one row of topstitching and all raw edges were enclosed and tucked. I played and figured it out and was able to remake the memory exactly as worn.  It was really just a fold that was stitched far from the edge and caught in the hem edges, but such a distinct memory from those uniform days. 



Now to the sheer issue....I decided to use a technique gleaned from Sandra Betzina many moons ago on her TV program. I am amazed at how what I learned on those sewing programs has stuck with me. I got rid of the facings and simply cut the front bodice pieces on the fold. There would be no stitching other than the buttonholes. This requires a good amount of extra material as the two bodices were both double their width. I think in the end I bought a yard and a half extra with not much waste. The interfacing was fused to the interior side of this double bodice but on the inside layer, not the public layer. It also required that I turn under and hand stitch the top collar section to the back bodice from one shoulder seam, around the neckline and to the other shoulder seam. Finishing collars this way was quite common in vintage patterns, no facings or bindings, just turning under seam allowances. The only issue here, which did not exist in the forties, is that my fiber content was part synthetic and did not press or hand stitch down as flat as an all natural fiber would have. But I am nit picking here and I doubt anyone but you wonderful sewists who follow me would ever notice. In the end, I believe you can see in the photo above how doubling the bodice front layers really gave a beautiful finish to a lightweight fabric  and its button area while taking care of the sheer factor.  I would definitely do it again. 


All of the seams were French seams, including the armscye. 


The darts were sewn into the bodice on top of the double layers of fabric. 

The collar drama is well discussed in the two previous posts which you will find by clicking "previous post" at the bottom of this one. This is an Acute Angle collar and needed seam allowances to come to a point in a VERY narrow area. There was a way to do it and thanks to an avid reader, I was informed and on the fourth try finally got a decent collar as you can see in the top photos. Love you all, dear readers. 

For the hem, I simply serged but did a nice miter fold at the center front corners. It was an inch and a quarter deep. I am really into my deeper hems lately. 

I love this pattern and would and hope to make it again but the queue is long right now and so much to sew!!! I am still working on summer and will be for a while. I so love to sew with linen! 

The Pants



Pattern:

This pattern is McCalls 5239. It is a Palmer Pletch "Classic Fit" pattern described on the envelope as "learn to sew the perfect fit pants". You can read that review and my strong opinion on the pattern Here. 



Before you scoot off to read my review, know that I really like the style of View C. The legs are basically cut straight down from a full high hip and the width/fullness is generated from a couple of pleats on each side of the pant front. There are darts, TWO, on each side of the pant back. I have wide hips and I really think these two darts help my fit here. I love this pant design and will make it again and again if need to. It's comfy, and I think it works with my small hourglass, even though the sands have somewhat shifted. And, I just love the style, period. However, I did not follow the pattern at all here. Instead, I took advantage of the opportunity to try out the Top Down Center Out pant fitting method and I will say I was impressed. 

When Ruth Collins's method first appeared in Threads Magazine, I thought it was a bit of hooo-ey. As time went by and I saw results on bodies, I start really considering this method differently. Then I followed thru all  the videos of Jennifer Stern and also "the Crooked Hem" on YouTube. I was convinced to try it. Admittedly, for these pants I did a rush through. Watched those videos again and again and am now making another pair of pants, very different pattern, following the method in great detail. I am a total convert. I will have more on all of that when I review that pant pattern which I am halfway through right now. The method is simple, and gives results. I recommend the videos I just mentioned. It is so simple and different as well, that one questions how it works, but it does. Trust me,,,,,,well, you can see my quickie version in the pants here. So, I used the TDCO method, not Palmer Pletch, to get my fit, and I used Sandra Betzina's Fly Zipper method, found in her Power Sewing book. I also use my own tried and true method for slanted pants pockets and that about sums up my use of the pattern, zip. Great design, everyone else's fit and construction.  


Fabric:

This fabric is 100% linen, the raw gray kind. I believe it might have come from Fabric-store.com as that is where I have been getting most of my linen lately. Great prices, quality and sales. It was prewashed a couple of times and now I can literally pull it out of the washer and just give an iron swipe to the hems and waistband edges and done. I like that bubbly washed linen look. 



Construction:

I did start the pants process with making a waistband. Now that I am on my second pair of pants with this method and even if I don't use the method, I can't tell you how invaluable this waistband has become. I made a waistband in my favorite width and in my waist size. It is well marked with red zigzagging at center back center front and side seams. It is snug as a bug in a rug, how I like it, and very comfortable. It well interfaced and has a button and also a snap closure, eveerything just like a completed waistband. I wore it around the house for over an hour going up and down stairs, etc. This will never go into a pair of pants. It is a fitting tool, a priceless fitting tool. It fits perfectly, probably the best waistband I've ever had. It became the bedrock of the TDCO fitting method. I keep it to use on all future pants making projects. I won't have to make another unless my weight/build changes. It has its seam allowance and that is clearly marked as well. It can be a waistband marker for any pant and made narrower  if desired. I can tell you that these pants are so very comfortable in the waist. The pants grow from this waistband so comfortably. 



I did Hong Kong seams on the pants, 2 inch hems to add some weight to the drape, Betzina's fly zipper. These are a wardrobe basic. If budget allows, a black wool crepe version for winter would be wonderful. 


Earth Awareness tip of the day:


I firmly believe us sewists are the ultimate upcyclists and savers of our Mother Earth. I am going to try and share, now and then, various ways I try to implement that philosopy and maybe you can too! If you have a blog or insta, share your ideas. Whenever I am finished cutting a pattern, I take my rotary cutter and cut any leftover pieces of pattern tissue into long strips usually 2-3 inches  wide. I then pile those up and cut them into small blocks. It takes only a few minutes. I keep them in this cup and use them as leader papers to start stitching on for those fabrics that may want to pull themselves down into your bobbin area and jam up your sewing momentum and  your machine! Some days this cup can go down really fast, if I am working on chiffons. I am always filling and emptying it. So don't throw away your tissues. 

If you have a blog or other presences, share a way that we can help the planet with your sewing. 

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You may have noticed I was wearing a baseball cap in a couple  of my pictures.  As much as I love hats, I am not a fan of the baseball hat style but when we were on vacation in Sedona, we took a side trip to the Grand Canyon and DH spotted this beautiful hat and asked me to try it on. I loved it. He bought it for me and by doing so we helped support the conservation of the Grand Canyon. I feel good about that. It is such a worthwhile cause and I love this hat and its colorful embroidery and leather brim. He knows I can never walk away from a great hat. 

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So where have I been? Bad fall., Concussion and sprains, Lots of Ibuprofen and other meds. Post Concussion syndrome, More Ibuprofen, more pain. Physical Therapy, Bleeding ulcer and collapse from all that Ibuprofen, Scary,  Strep throat which I shared with the world as we were covered in yellow haze from the Canadian fires  and I thought that was why my throat was sore for 3 weeks, Shingles (horrid and yes, I've had all the shots). AND NOW I AM FINE, YAY!!! I've got this all behind, am back to gardening and feeling fine and sewing. Gotta catch up on my gardening first. We have been in so much rain, days, finally we have sunshine and it's wonderful. I feel blessed. Thank you for your patience while I dealt with all of this. Every day I wanted to write my blogpost but was not allowed to use screens, period. All is good now. Take care, all. Happy Sewing and thanks for sticking with me. Lots of great sewing to come!!!....Bunny 

20 comments:

  1. So glad you've recovered from All That! I, too, am a fan of wide trousers and 40s style camp shirts. I'm going to refer to the TDCO videos when I tackle my next pair of trousers.

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    1. Thank you. It's great to feel better and get my hands in the dirt. I have to say, I got a lot done, despite everything, by having no screens. Thanks for your comment, Barbara.

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  2. So glad you are on the mend, I always enjoy your blog. They are SO detailed and informative, and I appreciate that you use big box store fabrics that are usually available every where. Thanks very much and hope your health continue to improve!

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    1. I appreciate that comment about the Big Boxes. For many, it's the only store around. I need to comment here. I've been around long enough to really know a lot about various textiles. For me the drape and hand is critical. I don't get that on line. I have to say that my batting average with online fabric purchases is running about 50/50. It is really hit and miss, despite my experience and knowledge. Perhaps the less one knows about fabric the more they are pleased with what arrives on the doorstep. I don't know. But I do have a Joanns nearby. I know they are not high end, but they are THERE and can save me when I need them and there are some things they are good at, like sturdy, everyday basics like Symphony which as been in their stores for at least 25 years or more. While I may order a 30 dollar a yard watercolor linen online and cross my fingers, I can also go into Joanns and get a basic fabric knowing full well what it is and what it requires from my sewing. Thanks, fiberfemme, for your comment.

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  3. Goodness, you have had a time of it. So glad you are better. I love your projects and all the information you provide. Your photos show what a great seamstress you are. Seams are all pressed, the buttonholes go in the correct direction, and the topstitching done so well. The shirt and pant are magnificent!! They look so good on you. I so enjoy your blog.
    On another note I managed a couple of Joanns in the early 80's. Symphony was available then. Happy to have you back. Jean

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  4. Thanks, Lisa. It's such an easy look. The TDCO is easy. Just start with the videos. I would do the Crooked Hem first. Jen Stern's is great as well but as she does, she really gets into the weeds which you will appreciate more once you watch the first suggestion.

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  5. You're welcome. Abigale. The good news is I have seen other great bloggers who have been away for a while return as well. It is such a great platform for in depth communication.

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  6. Thanks for the tip on the Symphony broadcloth being a decent fabric and cutting the front on the fold for thin fabrics. For some reason I've been wanting to make a white shirt. Never mind that I can't wear white for 5 minutes without getting something on it somehow. I used to watch Sandra Betzina on TV a long time ago but do *I* remember those tips? Noooooo!
    Sorry you've been dealing with so many health woes. If I count all the side effects from the fall with the fall itself, that's 3 things gone wrong. If it's true that things happen in 3s, you should be good to go for a while. I hope so anyway!

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    1. I like your theory. I've heard that one too! I have a thing for white shirts. I try to make at least one a year. They always look great, are so versatile and really give you great payback for all your effort. The cutting on the fold is a great technique. Just remember to get that extra fabric!

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  7. Oh my goodness, that's a lot to go through! Glad that you are on the mend. Your sewing is so beautiful, the stitching on the camp shirt is perfect. Thank you for taking the time to share your creations with us. And take good care of yourself.

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  8. O thou Friend of the Internet, what a season you have suffered! Those of us who follow your sewing adventures are so grateful that God, or Fate, or the universe in general has allowed you to return unto us. Happy stitching, for the rest of the time on earth we share.

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    1. Amen! So much to sew and plant! Every day is a blessing.

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  9. I am so glad you are feeling good now. It was a case of “what next?” It’s great to be reminded that rough times don’t last forever. (They just feel like they do.) I learn so much from you, thank you! Thank you for being specific about your resources, too. Your latest outfit is to die for!

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  10. So very Katherine Hepburn - I love it! And the details you shared. I'm sorry you've been through such an ordeal (or two or ten) but happy you are back and good again. Part of my prolonged absence was health-related (eye) too, so I can relate to some no-screen time and a forced retreat.

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  11. I left a comment last night but I don't think it "stuck." Was something about looking very Katherine Hepburn-ish, which I like! And so glad you're on the mend. I can relate - I was knocked off of screens at the beginning of the year due to surgery to repair a hole in one of my retinas. It wasn't the screens so much as being under orders to be only face down for weeks, because they put a gas bubble in the eye that needs to "rest" against the back of the eye to close the hole. I went through so many books - haven't read that much in years!

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  12. Oh, Bunny, so sorry you have had to endure all this pain. Despite your light tone, I am sure it was HELL! I had shingles many years ago and it was torture! So happy to see you are mended. Thank you for, as always, an engaging post. Brenda

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  13. If your linen is pretty sheer too, you might try using beige interfacing, close to skin color. It prevents the facing show-through most effectively. It's a bit hard to find these days, but it's easy to tea-dye your own.
    And I had to laugh about you bragging you used the so-called too-down-center-out method instead of Palmer and Pletsch. It's true your pattern instructions were probably straight McCall, but TDCO didn't spring miraculously from someone's forehead last year, it's a straight regurgitation of Palmer & Pletsch's book "pants for real people", probably available at your local public library.

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  14. Oh dear, happy to hear that you are feeling better after all that you've been through. Stay well. I love the retro vibe of your outfit!

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